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Fun In The Work Place: Décor, Themes, Cardboard Boxes and The Great Lemon Square Bake-Off

Submitted by Karen Higgins, Assistant to the Dean of Students, Moore College of Art and Design

Fun in the office begins with the decor. We like to add a taste of the season to our office by working with themes. For example, during the spring season, or when we are wishing for spring, we will cover the desks and floor with Astroturf, go to the dollar store and purchase as many hanging bees, plants and white picket fences as possible. We then put down the Astroturf, hang the bees and surround our desks with the fence and paper flowers.

Additionally, we also have theme parties. To go along with the spring theme Student Services sponsors the annual lemon square bake off contest. The office staff come in decorated to match the décor – wearing yellow clothing, large lemons, or dressed to resemble the grocery store produce person or farmers. Anyone may participate, staff, faculty or students.

To apply, individuals fill out an application form that includes a title for the baked creation along with info on the lemon square baker. To enter applicants must pay a dime, and show up with their squares. On the day of the event, contestants bring in the lemon squares.

Who judges? The judges are the winners from prior years. There are lemon criteria--such as: are they lemon?…are they square? The winners 1, 2 and 3 receive lovely prizes also purchased from the dollar store. Last years winners received yellow and white umbrella hats with lemons hanging from the tips.

We also use Cardboard boxes for fun in the office…literally…and make them a part of our themed costumes and events. We host an annual Halloween Contest, and as proper hosts we are always in glorious costumes made primarily of life size cardboard boxes, that typically reflect food samples. The food sample costumes come also with product samples that we distribute to those who attend our event. As an example, we’ve created donut, Hershey bar and juice costumes from cardboard boxes and then distributed samples of these products.

In 2001 we dedicated a theme to September 11. We represented the American flag as one person was a star, one person stripes, and another was the Statue of Liberty.

Please note: The students always win prizes for our themed events. Although the students always win the prizes, the staff in their costumes always receive the best laughs.